Today I reached into the little zippered pocket of my purse where I usually keep some cash, wanting to tip for good service. I was dumbfounded to find nothing there. My cash stash was missing! So, like a madwoman, I proceeded to turn my purse inside-out. Where could it be? Five face masks (Really?!!), two bottles of Purell, a pen, a pencil, my car key, eye drops, four different lip gloss options, plus my tiny credit card wallet. That’s it? No cash? Zilch.
We all know what it is to miss car keys or, sadly, cash. But have you ever felt like something was missing spiritually?
If so, you’re not alone. Many are missing out on knowing and enjoying God.
This is true despite an endless smörgåsbord of information about God at our fingertips: Christian books, blogs, podcasts, sermons, studies, and tweets. So what’s the problem? Well, the problem seems to be that the typical person does not know how to engage directly with God through the Bible. Yep, the Bible.
Traditionally, people learn the Bible second-hand through “experts,” such as pastors or authors. Yet, according to recent Barna research findings, 85% of engaged believers express a desire for greater Bible use outside of church.
85%? That’s a lot of people desiring to know and enjoy God directly through His Word!
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.”
Yet, many find the Bible intimidating. And that’s understandable. After all, it’s a collection of 66 books written over a span of 2000-plus years in a place, time, language and culture different from our own. How in the world could the Bible be relevant to our modern, everyday, 21st-century lives? Toss in a negative church experience, pile on stress and the busyness of life, and most people will avoid reading the Bible altogether. And then sometimes feel guilty. Inept. Or left with a vague sense of missing something.
This vague sense of “missing something” hovers like Pigpen’s cloud of dirt in the form of discontentment, anxiety, hopelessness, emptiness, loneliness, and more. Surprisingly, this state of affairs can also be true for folks in full-time vocational or part-time volunteer ministry. The reality is that we all sometimes go on auto-pilot to “dress up and play church.” When I began as a women’s ministry director, I found that less than half of the women leaders felt connected to Jesus. Instead, they were striving to do good and to be good. And they were tired. Without realizing it, these women were wondering, “Is something missing?”
There is. God and the Bible.